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Conferences & lectures

Sustainable Futures? Being with and Beyond 'Crisis'

SAGSA Annual Conference, with keynote by Kregg Hetherington

Date & time
Saturday, March 25, 2023
9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Kregg Hetherington


This event is free


Department of Sociology and Anthropology


Henry F. Hall Building
1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.
Room H-1120

Wheel chair accessible


Concordia's Department of Sociology and Anthropology is proud to present the SAGSA annual conference, with Kregg Hetherington as the keynote speaker.

The Time of Ghost Rivers: Future histories of the urban environment

Several years ago, a group of students at Concordia University went looking for water and found a ghost. They weren’t alone in this.

Local activists, urban planners and eventually city officials all found themselves, over the past decade, drawn into relation with a long-forgotten river that, for different reasons, had begun to haunt local infrastructure.

In 2021 they even held a funeral, played the bagpipes, and tried to come to terms with a new form of mourning.

As this paper will argue, the appearance of ghost rivers is a kind of infrastructural inversion proper to the urban Anthropocene, conjured by shifting attention to landscapes of ecological destruction.

To know a ghost river is to understand underground pipes and legal histories, it’s to become aware of contamination and histories of disease, and it’s to reflect on the future of human cohabitation. But communing with a ghost, is also markedly different from worrying about crisis, or dreaming of sustainability.

Ghosts inhabit time otherwise, and as such they invite us to resituate our environmental futures and pasts.

About Kregg Hetherington

Kregg Hetherington is an associate professor at Concordia University in Montreal, where he carries out research on the environment, infrastructure and the bureaucratic state.

He is also the director of the Concordia Ethnography Lab, which encourages interdisciplinary experimentation in comparative methodologies. His latest book, The Government of Beans: Regulating Life in the Age of Monocrops (Duke 2020) recently won the Rachel Carson award from the Society for the Social Study of Science, along with two other awards.

Final Schedule

Session 1 — 9 to 11 a.m.
Hall A (H-1120 SGW) (Hybrid) Hall B (H-1124 SGW)

Panel A

Global crises and alternatives

Panel B

Dispossession and Belongingness


Dr. Rhett Alexandr Cano-Jacome

Concordia University


Kregg Hetherington

Director, Concordia Ethnography Lab

(Montreal Waterways Research Group), Concordia University

Engineering the Earth: The need to shift away from technical solutions to climate change

Neve Sugars-Keen

M.A Student, Carleton University

Montreal waterways: How to tell the story of an island?

 John Neufeld

M.A Student In Sociology At Concordia University

 Melina Campos Ortiz

Ph.D. Student In Sociology At Concordia University

Maya Lamothe-Katrapani

M.A Student In Anthropology At Concordia University

Amrita Gurung

Ph.D. Student In Sociology At Concordia University


Social Reproduction Theory, Energy Sovereignty And Climate Change As Class Warfare: Strategic Considerations For Life-Making In The Global North

Ariel Becherer,

Ma. Student, Carleton University


Making/Meat/Matter: A Tabletop Roleplaying Game

Ali Kenefick

Concordia University



Indigenous peoples, knowledge and water: Counter-hegemonic narratives towards power asymmetries and the water crisis

Luisa Castaneda-Quintana

Vanier Scholar

Doctoral Candidate In Comparative Law  

Faculty Of Law, Mcgill University



10:30 to 10:50 a.m. (Hall H-1120 SGW)

Commodity Market As Model Systematic Racism

Ed Canty 

General Manager, Cooperative Coffees

Coffee Break — 10:50 to 11:20 a.m.
Session 2 — 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Hall A (H-1120 SGW)

Hall B (H-1124 SGW)

Panel A

Decolonization and Post-Humanism

Panel B

From Archiving to Storytelling: Digital Activism and Marketization 



David Howes

Co-Director, The Center For Sensory Ethnography, Concordia University


Chris Hurl

Associate Professor, Concordia University



Sustaining Decolonizing Efforts within a Canadian University

Jamilah Dei-Sharpe,

Ph.D. Candidate In Sociology At Concordia University

Ezgi Ozyonum 

Ph.D. Candidate In Education At Concordia University


Archiving, Storytelling, and Community Care: Considering Queering the Map

Hannah Grover

Ph.D. Student Concordia University




Disaster, Sovereignty, and the Anthropocene: On Architectural Dystopia and Transhuman Ecolegalities


Giusto Amedeo Boccheni

Doctoral Candidate In Comparative Law, Mcgill University


Archiving the Internet: Research on Activist Editors and Archivers

Elena Rowan

Ma Sociology Student, Concordia University



Humain, non-humain, post-humain: entre la désanthropologisation des sciences sociales et les enjeux globaux 


Christlord Foreste

Doctorante-Chercheure A L'université De Montréal Et L'université Paris

The Youthful Protester Motif: An exploration of how advertising campaigns have instrumentalized the image of protest and contributed to the reproduction of a capitalist horizon

Isis Menteth Wheelwright

Ma Sociology Student, Concordia University




On Hilando Futuros as SF, or how to become datakin

Melina Campos Ortiz

 Ph.D. Student In Sociology At Concordia University

Lunch break — 1 to 2 p.m.
Session 3 — 2:10 to 3:40 p.m.
Hall A (H-1120 SGW) Hall B (H-1124 SGW)

Panel A

Seeing through hands touching through eyes

Panel B

Mapping Urban Space: Cultural Encounters, Violence And Coping Mechanism


Martin French,

Casino Ethnography Working Group, Concordia University

Chair/ Discussant

Hone Mandefro Belaye

Phd Candidate, Concordia University

Seeing through hands touching through eyes: A group autoethnography of the online casino

Genevieve Collins,

Researcher, Casino Ethnography Working Group, Concordia University

Pierre-Olivier Jourdenais,

Researcher, Casino Ethnography Working Group, Concordia University

Amrita Gurung

Researcher, Casino Ethnography Working Group, Concordia University

Exposing The Urban Violence: The Importance Of Mapping Representations In Uncovering Deficiencies In Urban Design


Dr. Rhett Cano-Jácome

Concordia University

Gaming in the context of COVID-19: Emotion, experience and substituting the “real” for the “virtual.”

Derek Pasborg

Ma. Student At Sociology, Concordia University

Coping Mechanisms Used By Taxi Drivers In Yaoundé, Cameroon, In Response To The Stresses Of Abrupt, Unanticipated Changes In Their Working Environment.

Donita Nshani (Zoom)


Affordance, Performance, And Pluriversality: Conceptual Frameworks For The Embodied Dimensions Of Cultural Life


Nathan Ferguson

Ma Student At Concordia University

Session 4 — 3:50 to 5:10 p.m.

Faculty Roundtable

Sagsa Annual Conference 2023

“Sustainable Futures? Being with and Beyond ‘Crisis’”

Saturday, 25 March, 2023

3:50 to 5:10 p.m. in H-1120


Sustainable development goals (SDGs) outline the dual role universities play in ensuring sustainable futures.

First, they have to adopt sustainability frameworks by incorporating SDGs, and second, they need to foster sustainable futures through education.

Following such calls, universities have increasingly aligned their missions over the last two decades to prepare students for real-life global challenges through applied and experiential learning. Indeed, universities have enormous training potential to enable students to not only face complex personal challenges but also help them secure sustainable futures for society.

In light of such narratives, our faculty roundtable will explore the idea of universities as agents of social transformation.

We ask whether recent moves toward “experiential learning” will help to render the university more responsive to sustainable development goals, or whether the buzzword "experiential learning" is only a new push to neoliberalize academia?



Christine Jourdan

Mark K. Watson

Beverly Best

Theresa (Isa) Arriola


Carlos Velasquez and Carlos Olaya Diaz

Coffee break — 5 to 5:30 p.m.
Session 5 — 5:35 to 6:30 p.m.

Keynote by Kregg Hetherington

The Time Of Ghost Rivers: Future Histories of the Urban Environment

Hall A (H-1120, SGW)

Final remarks followed by a vote of thanks!
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